As you are aware that we are celebrating 150th Birth Anniversary of Gandhi and the GOI has marked the period, 2 oct 2018 to 2 Oct 2020, as the period to commemorate ideas and philosophy of Gandhi. At AUD so far, we have had a few events in the past ( a lecture by Sudhir Kakar, Hindi conference dedicated to Gandhi, Essay competition in both Hindi and English at the undergraduate level).
In this series we are now organizing a talk by Prof Meenal Shrivatava
Commemorating 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
Seminar Topic: Gandhi’s Women Satyagrahis: Why do they matter in studying contemporary social-political trends?
By Prof. Meenal Shrivastava* Professor of Political Economy and Global Studies and Chair of the Centre for Social Sciences Athabasca University, Canada
Abstract: In 1930, during Mahatma Gandhi led Civil Disobedience movement in India, 17000 out of 80,000 political prisoners were women and children. Despite such an unprecedented level of political participation, the nature and scale of ordinary women’s role remains invisible within most Indian historiographical traditions, which rarely venture beyond mentioning a handful of women leaders with famous last names. In the past few decades, there has been a huge uptake in the critiques of women in the subaltern project. These works, nevertheless, remained largely uninterested in women nationalists. Consequently, the presence, voices, and agency of ordinary women in the various battles for freedom and equality remain unaccounted for. Using the findings of an archival research which informed my recent book (Amma’s Daughters: A Memoir (AUP, 2018)), my talk will highlight some of the factors that have led to this glaring omission and argues for reclaiming the role of ordinary women in disparate history writing traditions. Revealing the diverse nature and the substantial scale of women’s involvement in social/political change is important not only to gain a fuller understanding of human history, but also to counter persistent gender inequality in contemporary society. To this end, I apply the social history approach of subaltern studies, and highlight the importance of archival research and individual narratives to bridge the gulf between the histories of peoples and states.
*Born in Jaipur, Meenal Shrivastava née Sinha earned her Masters degree in Modern Indian History from Rajasthan University, and M.Phil and Ph.D in International Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University. After teaching for nearly a decade in South Africa, she joined Athabasca University in Canada in 2006, where she is currently Professor of Political Economy and Global Studies and Chair of the Centre for Social Sciences. Her research on the processes of globalization has so far led to more than thirty peer-reviewed publications; seventy conference papers, guest lectures, and opinion pieces; a co-edited volume Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada; and her first work of creative historical non-fiction, Amma’s Daughters: A Memoir.